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The Widows Guild is the third in the Francis Bacon Mystery series.
In the summer of 1588, Europe waits with bated breath for King Philip of Spain to launch his mighty armada against England. Everyone except Lady Alice Trumpington, whose father wants her wed to the highest bidder. She doesn’t want to be a wife, she wants to be widow; a rich one, and the sooner, the better. So she marries an elderly viscount, gives him a sleeping draught, and spends her wedding night with Thomas Clarady, her best friend and Francis Bacon’s assistant. The next morning, they find the viscount murdered in his bed and they’re both clapped into the Tower.
Lady Alice appeals to the Andromache Society, the widow’s guild led by Francis Bacon’s formidable aunt, Lady Russell. They charge Francis with getting the falsely accused new widow out of prison and identifying the real murderer. Francis has to visit the Tower every day anyway as part of a commission to examine Catholic prisoners, along with obscenely zealous Sir Richard Topcliffe. Francis soon learns that the viscount’s murder isn’t an isolated case. Someone is murdering Catholics in London and taking advantage of armada fever to mask the crimes.
Pulled and pecked by a coven of demanding widows, Francis struggles to maintain his reason and his courage to see through the fog of war and catch the killer.
Cover and editing by Jennifer Quinlan at Historical Editorial.